Another fascinating ‘Annals of Medicine’ essay from Atul Gawande gets at some of the new verities in perceptual theory, notably debunking the assumption that ‘perception is reception’, through consideration of itching gone wild. In so doing, it also suggests much about such phenomena as phantom limb pain and chronic pain in general. (New Yorker)
…and why (Boston Globe)
When it comes to funerals, though, the Japanese have traditionally been inflexibly Buddhist — so much so that Buddhism in Japan is often called “funeral Buddhism,” a reference to the religion’s former near-monopoly on the elaborate, and lucrative, ceremonies surrounding deaths and memorial services.
But that expression also describes a religion that, by appearing to cater more to the needs of the dead than to those of the living, is losing its standing in Japanese society.” (New York Times)